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Commodity shortages

Conscious and sustainable use of all commodities and materials at Schiphol

Reuse of materials

Commodities are becoming scarcer and energy prices continue to rise. At the same time, we renew parts of the infrastructure every year and demolish, renovate and construct buildings. This is why we try to reuse materials where possible. The resulting waste is disposed of and recycled. On average, 90% of the construction and demolition waste is reused.

Previously used construction materials such as concrete, asphalt, synthetic material, metal pipes and cables are processed and then reused in the major maintenance of runways, taxiways, platforms and roads. During the renovation of the platform at Pier C, the concrete was demolished and broken down into smaller pieces on site, which is something that used to be done off site. The pieces of concrete were reused for the foundation of the new platform. This procedure results in fewer and shorter transport trips and less hindrance at the checkpoints to and from airside. In 2013, the remainder of the rubble will be used in other projects.

Schiphol, Vanderlande Industries and waste service provider Van Gansewinkel are testing a baggage belt that is made from recycled materials. This means that the belt has a different material composition, which requires extra attention with regard to fire safety.

Paperless cargo process

Our efforts to use as little paper as possible in the cargo logistics chain has not gone unnoticed. Umbrella organisation for the aviation sector IATA awarded Amsterdam Airport Schiphol a Certificate of Achievement as a token of appreciation for its achievements in the field of e-freight. Schiphol was praised for its efforts to promote the general acceptance of e-freight in the sector. We believe digitisation in the logistics chain is important, because large amounts of paper are no longer necessary, because the processes can be organised much more efficiently and because this enhances the sustainability of our operations. IATA has calculated that, worldwide, the amount of paper that is used in the chain every year is equivalent to eighty Boeing 747 freighters filled with paper documents.

Waste separation at the source

Passengers, companies at Schiphol and our own employees annually produce a large amount of waste at the airport; 15,570 tonnes in total. Waste flows such as food leftovers, confiscated 'liquids & gels', tissues and mown grass are disposed of separately and reused if possible or converted into biofuel.

In the operating year 2012, 35% of the normal waste was recycled (excluding construction and demolition waste and water containing glycol). In the year 2012, the focus was mainly on further separation at the source. The coordination of interlinked processes has been improved at a number of locations. This includes the use of colour codes to clearly indicate the routing of the waste.

Since May 2010, food leftovers are being collected from the catering outlets in the terminal. The initial 4,000 kilograms per month has now grown to an average of 45,000 kilograms per month.

In 2012, we held discussions with various cleaning companies and handling agents about the collection and disposal of aircraft waste. New agreements have been concluded and a settlement system is being applied that is more in line with the requirements and wishes of the parties involved. In the old system, costs were allocated based on an average price per seat per type of aircraft; in the new method, costs are calculated on the basis of the number of kilograms supplied. Waste separation is an integral part of these agreements.

At the headquarters of Schiphol Group, waste islands were installed in nearly all the departments; 'regular' rubbish bins are no longer being used. Employees are expected to separate their waste into six types. The separation percentage is more than 80%.